Monday, February 28, 2011

Marching On

Here we are just a day away from welcoming in another new month. It hardly seems a few days since we were doing the same for February.

I guess it's time for confession - how well did I get on with the goals that I set myself.
  • Complete Mug Rugs for swap - Done
  • Start work on 2 pay it forward gifts - I haven't blogged about these yet but I do have fabrics really and projects prepared for these, so I guess I can call this done too as the goal was only to make a start
  • Participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Done. I made 4 chequerboard blocks, 2 ATCs and a coil pot.
  • Work on the Tigers cross stitch - Done
  • Make something for the 3 creative studios colour palette challenge - Done. My goddess doll was made
  • Participate in the bloggers pillow party - Done.
  • Finish Doodle Stitch A Long - Done
  • Make something for the BQL Skinny Swap - Total Failure on this one didn't manage to get it off the ground
  • Make some Zombie Pumpkins - Done. Eleven Zombies made so far.
Well I think only one failure is pretty good in all of that list. Let's hope I can do as well in March. This is what is on the list.
  • Participate in the bloggers pillow party
  • Participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge
  • Finish 'Iris' for the 3creative Studios challenge
  • Work on Lakeside Farm Cross Stitch
  • Finish One of my PIF gifts
  • Participate in Stitched in Colors - Bottled Rainbows Challenge
  • Catch up on the Birdie Stitches Block of the Month Project.
  • Make some more Pumpkins
Phew, I think that is a pretty ambitious plan, but apart from a long weekend away at the end of the month it should be a fairly quiet one, so there will hopefully be lots of time for stitching.

Wish Me Luck

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Siberian Gold - February

Time to report on my cross stitch progress for this month.

You might remember that I had decided to work on a couple of projects on a monthly rotation. So it was back to the Tigers for February. This is where I left them.Taking these progress pictures never ceases to amaze me. In a month where I again thought that I'd barely gotten anything done I was really surprised and amazed at the comparison. This is the now.I am so so close to having this one done. Just a few more inches of cross stitch to fill in and then some back stitched detail. If it was just the cross stitching to finish I would be tempted to keep this one out and get it finished, but back stitching always takes longer than you think, and while it is only a few details I know it will take some time. So this one is going away again until April, time to start working on Lakeside Cottage again.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - Goodbye to the reds

Wow, I can't believe that we are at the end of another month already, where is the time flying too? Well this post will mark the end of the reds for the time being.

My first attempt at a coil pot is done, and I have to admit that it's not really the best.It started out ok. I managed to get the hand of the technique for covering the rope and stitching the coils together, but things went a bit downhill from there. The little pot in the book had straight sides whereas mine ended up coming out from the centre.Not sure what happened, maybe I was pulling the stitches too might or maybe I just didn't get the placement of the coil rows quite right. It's only a little pot - this was made using the hand stitched method in the book. It did come together quite quickly but I don't think I'd want to make anything too large with the hand stitch. There are machine versions later in the book so I may given that a go at some point.Anyhow it might not be the best little pot, but it's found a home in my bedroom. I have a lovely jewellery box that my sister bought me a few years back, but the recent fashion for chunky fashion rings means that those pieces won't fit in the ring draw so they all get to live in my little red pot now instead.

I have enjoyed the month of RED and am looking forward to seeing what the colour of March will be.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dartmoor - Compasses and Creature Comforts

This is the last of my posts about the recent weekend we spent in Dartmoor. It's wonderful walking across the wide open moor but navigation can be tricky sometimes. Compass and map are definitely advisable.Even on a clear bright day like the one we had it's better to be safe than sorry and stop every once in a while to make sure you're still heading along in the right direction.Here's Dave taking the weight off for a couple of minutes to check the map. What a beautiful place to stop and relax for a while. I really fell in love with this gorgeous little clapper bridge with it's amazing views out over the wide open moor.
Not all the walking was quite so picturesque though. We had a nice muddy field path or two to navigate. But hey who says squelching in the mud for a while can't be fun too :)The walk soon took us out of the fields again and back on to the Moor, where we encountered some of the local wild ponies.Who wouldn't want to be a pony when you get to live in such an amazingly beautiful place. After all that walking though - about seven miles in all - it was time to seek out some creature comforts of our own.A delicious pint of local cider ........ and a chance to warm the extremities on an open fire. I do hope that it won't bee too long before we visit Dartmoor again.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Palette Challenge

This last week I have been making a start on my new project for the current 3CreativeStudios Palette Challenge. This is the inspiration picture.Aren't the colours fabulous. I have decided to carry on my with doll making journey and will be using the challenge palettes over the next few months to work my way through this beautiful book. Starting with the simplest doll pattern in the book.So I raided my fabrics and pulled out a whole variety of stuff that I think matches the palette, and of course something to make the fleshy parts of the doll with.I will be making the body from these cotton fabrics that I pulled from my stash. I have also be raiding the non-cotton stash for possible pieces to make the dolls skirt from. The picture above shows what I came up with but I haven't really narrowed things down yet to what will actually get used, figured I'd try and get the doll form made first and play with ideas for decoration after.So I have made a start on putting my doll together, who will of course be called Iris. Even the basic doll is proving to be a challenge for me as the face is drawn and painted on, and as I mentioned in my last doll post drawing is not something I'm good at.So far I've attempted to sketch some features on to the face. It's looking as though Iris won't be having the most delicate features in the world, but I guess it may all change and look totally different once I've added the colour in. Watch this space I guess .......

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dartmoor - Standing Stones and Rocky Tors

Are you ready for some more views of Dartmoor? This post is all about rocks and stone.This was the view we had from the very start of our walk, you see the rocky outcrop in the left of the picture? Well after doing a big circle round the moor that's where we will end up later. but first ........... we're heading down this stone lined path our destination is the Shoveldon Longstoneyou can just ignore me. I actually have no idea what I'm up to in this picture! Just generally being a bit of a village idiot I think. Enough fooling around though we still have plenty more to see. Like the Scorhill Stone CircleI have to admit that my pictures from the stone circle were rather hastily taken, at this point we were being chased down by a bunch of marauding teenagers with maps and compasses, so we beat a hasty path up the nearest hill.On the other side of the hill we found a beautiful medieval church, with some equally beautiful grave statues. Reading the blurb in the church it appears that both the church and the majority of the headstones had been made from granite taken straight from the moor. We're coming to the end of our walk now, but look we still have some blue skies........it's time to go climb that rocky Tor. It's still a way in the distance but it won't take too long to stride across there.
Here we are at the top. Look at all of the fabulous rock filled viewsIt's starting to get a bit chilly now though, the sun is about to set. Time to go warm up by the fire and have some dinner - I think we deserve a little treat after all this walking, don't you?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pumpkin Army

Remember the Pumpkinheads from last week?They have all been stuffed and the zombie pumpkin army is on the march.I have made 11 so far with plans for another 10 or so depending on what time I get. I love them. They are pretty freakish though, they were sat on the table the other night and they looked very menacing in the flickering candle light.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kitty Love

video

I have no idea if this is going to work as I've not tried video before. Fingers crossed. This one's called Pip Gets A Wash.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dartmoor - Blue Skies and Rushing Water

Last weekend we went on a fabulous trip to Dartmoor. We drove down early on Saturday (it was one of the bargain hotel nights that I booked at the start of the year). We were blessed with lovely blue skies and sunshine when we arrived. This shot was taken from the very start of our walk. You can see my little car in the landscape, but what a beautiful spring like day look at all the green and blue and the fluffy white clouds, gorgeous. It wasn't long before we were out striding on the Moor proper, wow I can't describe how on top of the world I felt walking round this beautiful landscape. You wouldn't have been able to pry the smile of my face if you had the world's largest crowbar, lol.We got to cross fabulous picturesque streamsand listen to water cascading over collections of rugged rocks. What an amazing way to spend a day ..... and I have more to show you, but will leave that for another post.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Scraphappy Saturday - Anyone want to trade?

As I'm sure most of us are more than aware there is a world recession going on at the moment, belts needed to be pulled tighter and there is less spare money to use on luxuries as the price of every day living just seems to go up and up. As much as I like to think that fabric and crafting is a necessity rather than a luxury ;-) I am certainly being forced to buy less these last few months. But I'm coming to realise that that isn't really such a bad thing.

How many of you are like me and have a tonne of stuff that you've bought over the years that has rarely seen the light of day since it came home? Well this is the year to get using all that stuff!! :) And what perfect excuse but to combine some of that with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.I have had this book sat on my shelf for a while and not done anything with it so this week I will be attempting to make myself a red pot or two........ The scraps have been raided and I'm all set to go. I wonder if I'll have a finished pot to show you by the time next Saturday rolls on round?

While I was sorting out some strips for my pot, I noticed how many really thin strips that I'd saved, I'm talking pieces less than an inch wide. I figured they would be great for some fabric weaving in miniature so I made a couple of ATCs. Here's the result.

Scattered HeartsYour Love Gives Me Wings

So anyone want to trade with me? I'll send you mine if you send me yours :) No rules just send whatever you want to make me. Just leave me a comment and say which ATC you would like...I only have one of each so they'll go to whoever is the first to say.

Friday, February 18, 2011

And the winner is.......

Thank you to everyone who commented on my Valentine's post. Blogging has put me in touch with so many wonderful people who I probably otherwise would never get to meet.

The winner is
who said ....

'Your postcard is beautiful. The white fabric is the same I used for the Valentine's Hearts. - Thank you very much for your nice comment.
Have a nice day
Roswitha

Congratulations Roswitha, I will send you an email as soon as I can, if you can reply with your snail mail address I will get the card sent out to you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pumpkinheads

You may have noticed that the stitching content on this blog has been a bit sparse this week. It's been such a hectic week that I haven't really had much time to spend with needle in hand. What time I have had has been spent on these.
These heads are waiting to be stitched and stuffed and joined to the poor headless bodies that I have floating around the place. I'm hoping to get these done in the next couple of evenings so that I can work on some new stuff at the weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spring

Spring is well and truly on it's way, these appeared in the garden at the end of last week.

I think it may be time for lots of change, but hopefully all good.

My blogging may slow down a bit in the coming weeks, for lots of different reasons, but I'll still be around as much as I can, and before things do slow down I have lots of pictures to share with you from last weekend which we spent in Dartmoor. Can't wait to tell you all about it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Heart felt giveaway

Happy Valentines Day to you all.

I hope that your day is filled with lots of love and laughter.


I figured that today would be the perfect day to spread a little love. So I'm having a little give away. I made this heart themed postcard and it's meant just for one of you ... my friends out there in blogland.
It's a little thank you for all of the lovely comments and visits that you make to my blog. I've been blogging for 5 years now and probably would have given up by now if it wasn't for all of the encouragement and support from all of you.

To be in with a chance of winning my postcard, just leave a comment. I'll draw a name at the end of the week.

Thanks once again. X

Sunday, February 13, 2011

3Creative Studios Challenge - A tale of procrastination

When I heard about the 3creative studios colour palette challenge earlier this year I knew I wanted to join in. I have a big pile of doll making books on the shelf and although I have attempted a couple of dolls in the past it's something that I've been wanting to play more with and just never got round to. Anyhow I thought that I might marry the two up and use the palette challenge to play around with dolls.

Well the inspiration picture and colours for this month were announced a while ago and I've been procrastinating. I took a quick glance at the picture and decided that the colours weren't speaking to me. I've been putting off starting anything until the beginning of this week when I decided that I didn't want to fail at the first hurdle. I told myself that even though the colours weren't speaking to me I'd join the challenge by making something small like a postcard.So I printed out the picture and palette and raided the scrap boxes. Wow, once I laid these colours out I just loved them together. I couldn't wait to get going and the idea of a postcard went right out of the window and the original plan for experimenting with doll forms came back again. I decided for my first doll attempt I'd have a go at a pretty simple, primitive kind of goddess form.
I figured it might be interesting to play around with the fabric weaving idea again. The picture above shows my woven 'base' fabric.I really like the earthy tones of all the fabrics together, and that along with the original picture which was of a pine bough really gave me the feeling of the colours that you might experience on a woodland walk.I decided that my doll would be a goddess of the pine forest. I started decorating the fabric with some of the leafy patterns that are among the decorative stitches on my sewing machine.I just randomly stitched all over the cloth in a few different pattern variations. It was an interesting experiment as I really liked some of the bits on the cloth but knew that there was no guarantee that these would be on the final doll as the fabric would get cut up again.I have to admit that it was a bit tricky turning the doll, particularly getting the layered woven fabric through the tiny neck, but I managed it in the end. Got a bit more recycling done too as I again stuffed out the doll form with some of the bits and pieces that would have otherwise ended up in the bin from other projects. You might recognise some mug rug trimmings going in here :)I was a bit undecided about what to do with the face. Originally I thought I'd use a rubber stamped face, but I liked how a bit of the vine stitching was going up the side of her face and didn't want to cover that so decided to go with paint. Sadly I'm no artist and faces will be one of the things that I hope to practise as the doll making experiments continue, but for now I think this one came out ok.I added some yarn that I had in the cupboard for her hair and she was done.I had so much fun making her, and am really pleased with how she came out but I can't help thinking that maybe she could have been even better if I hadn't left it all until the last minute. Moral of the story - Don't procrastinate just because you think you don't like something more often than not if you just get stuck in you'll realise that you love it!!And I even had enough of the woven base fabric left to cut a couple of backgrounds for postcards. They're on the sewing table waiting for a few extra embellishments and then will be tucked away again until needed.

Can't wait to see where the next palette will take me.